IBM has reported a 19,7% increase in Thanksgiving Day online sales as holiday shoppers once again turned to the Internet for the best deals. This momentum set the stage for a record Black Friday, with online sales growing by 18,9% over the same period last year. This data is the result of cloud-based analytics from IBM.

The biggest surge came from mobile sales which reached 25,8% of total online sales for Thanksgiving, and 21,8% for Black Friday, as consumers went from the dinner table to their tablets to lock in the best offers. In addition, IBM reported that New York City consumers led the way in Black Friday online sales followed by Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Delivered by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, this year’s holiday report tracked millions of transactions and terabytes of data from approximately 800 US retail Web sites. By leveraging cloud-based analytics, IBM is uniquely positioned to give retailers and marketers unmatched insight into realtime consumer shopping trends.

The company released the following trends:

* Online sales set new record – Thanksgiving Day online sales grew 19,7% year-over-year followed by Black Friday, with sales increasing 19% over 2012. Average order value for Black Friday was $135,27, up 2,2% year-over-year.

* Top five cities for online shopping – New York City took the top spot for online sales on Black Friday. Rounding out the top five were Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Chicago.

* Mobile shopping soars – mobile traffic grew to 39,7% of all online traffic, an increase of 34% over Black Friday 2012. Mobile sales were also strong, reaching 21,8% of total online sales, an increase of nearly 43% year-over-year.

* Smartphones browse, tablets buy – smartphones drove 24,9% of all online traffic on Black Friday compared to tablets at 14,2%, making it the browsing device of choice. Tablets drove 14,4% of all online sales, double that of smartphones, which accounted for 7,2% of all online sales. On average, tablet users spent $132,75 per order compared to smartphone users who spent $115,63, a difference of 15%.

* iOS versus Android – on average, iOS users spent $127,92 per order on Black Friday compared to $105,20 per order for Android users. iOS traffic reached 28,2% of all online traffic, compared to 11,4% for Android. iOS sales reached 18,1% of all online sales, compared to 3,5% for Android.

* Retailers “push” promotions to mobile shoppers – on average, retailers sent 37% more push notifications – the alert messages and popup notifications from apps installed on your mobile device – during the two day period over Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday when compared to daily averages over the past two months.
Average daily retail app installations also grew by 23% using the same comparison. Retailers sent more notifications on Thanksgiving Day than Black Friday.

* The social influence: Facebook versus Pinterest – on average, holiday shoppers referred from Pinterest on Black Friday spent 77% more per order than shoppers referred from Facebook. Facebook average order value was $52,30 versus Pinterest average order value which was $92,51. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at nearly four times the rate of Pinterest.

“We’re off to an incredibly fast start this holiday season as retailers and consumers meet at the intersection of cloud, mobile and social platforms to both offer and take advantage of the best deals,” says Jay Henderson, strategy director, IBM Smarter Commerce.

“It’s clear that marketers are using cloud analytics technologies like the IBM Benchmark to better understand and act on real-time shopping trends. This year’s winners will be those that can deliver seamless experiences to consumers wherever, whenever and however they choose to shop.”

Supporting these overall trends, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported realtime trends across four of the hottest retail categories this holiday season:

* Department stores – Black Friday total online sales grew by 61,4% over 2012, with mobile percentage of sales growing by 46,4%. Average order value was $146,84, an increase of 15% year-over-year.
* Health and beauty – Black Friday total online sales grew by 28% over 2012, with mobile percentage of sales growing by 65%. Average order value was $66,31, an increase of 3,2% year-over-year.
* Home goods – Black Friday total online sales grew by 16,8% over 2012, with mobile percentage of sales growing by 24%. Average order value was $207,80, an increase of 15% year-over-year.
* Apparel – Black Friday total online sales grew by 50,4% over 2012, with mobile percentage of sales growing by 43%. Average order value was $123,31, an increase of 3,5% year-over-year.